How to Scale Up Your Startup to Support Your Growth Strategy
Updated: Feb 2
"The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." — Socrates, father of Western philosophy.
Scale your business! It's the entrepreneurial catchphrase that jumps off the webpage with every click of the mouse.
It always keeps you thinking about your business model. Are you too cautious? Is your way good enough for ultimate success? Is it the right time for you?
To assist in answering these and other scale-related questions, let's start at the best place – Square One!
1. Let's Define "Scale Up"
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary describes scale (about business acumen) as shorthand for 'scale-up' (to grow or expand in a balanced and usually profitable way) and as a noun that means "proportional growth especially of production or profit.
Interestingly, even M-W places the cautionary word before the word profitable as profit is the primary focus of taking the leap and taking action, which results in scaling your business.
2. Why Scale Up Your Business?
We've" cut through the business jargon and agree there's now a clear definition of scaling up, and now it's time to measure all the intangibles of your business model to make a scaling decision.
While generating increased profits is a primary factor, several other factors to consider before enacting your business growth ambitions.
Strategic Goals – Are previously defined objectives and goals why you are looking to scale up? What effect will this growth move have on these targets to generate success? Will a scale-up require a rethinking?
Innovation Driven – Is the entrepreneurial thought process stagnating? What improvements in this area will occur as a result of a scale-up?
Operational Processes and Streamlining - Are you looking for ways to reduce operating costs, improve overall productivity, or looking to simplify the standard procedures of your business?
If any of these examples are already on your desk sketch pad, the decision may be closer to fruition than you think.
3. How to Scale Up Your Business
As leadership author John Maxell once said, "If we are growing, we are always going to be outside our comfort zone."
Change isn't for the timid, and most times, change hurts at first.
It's no different for an entrepreneur like you and to scale up engages a difference in the way you've become accustomed to doing business.
Let's consider these areas of your business:
Cornerstone Approach – If you are contemplating scaling up your business, you are highly likely already familiar with the cornerstone belief. Just as a mason sets the first stone, of which all other rocks in the building project will reference, you have created a business model with a strong foundation. While you are scaling up to promote higher growth, you must not stray from the core competencies of your business.
Change Brings About Additional Change – Whether hiring additional employees or purchasing improved software to assist in your overall growth, you will see further changes need enacting due to these business enhancements (i.e., server upgrades, new computer hardware installation, or enhancement in employee benefit packages).
Enduring Initial "Growing Pains" – Realising the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a commuter train headed directly for you, after all.
Instead, you realize the scale-up is eliminating some of your workloads, providing employees to delegate work off your plate to make room for your innovative entrepreneurial strengths, and resulting in a clear path to tremendous business success.
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